An easy one for your holiday events.
A simple to make appetizer for the crowd ... we call them the vultures at our events; almost none of the appetizers ever even make it out of the kitchen. But hey, it’s an Italian family, so who wants to leave the kitchen anyway?
This one takes about 5 minutes to set up, and about 15 minutes to bake, and about 90 seconds for the vultures to make disappear.
H/T to Peiper, the United Kingdom, and the Lidl’s grocery store insert from the Sunday Times. Well done.
1 whole Camembert cheese in it’s little wooden box, 8 oz to 250g (get one that is weeks away from it’s use-by date)
1 baguette of French bread, about 18” long
6” or so worth of fresh rosemary sprigs
2 good sized cloves of fresh garlic, one slivered, one mashed
a quarter stick of sweet butter, softened
a half handful of fresh finely chopped parsley, optional
fresh ground black pepper
Take the cheese out of it’s wooden box, remove the wrapper, then fold a quarter sheet of parchment into the box and return the cheese.
If you don’t have baker’s parchment, just unwrap the cheese and put it in a flat bottomed bowl (eg a ramekin) that just fits around it.
Take a broad tipped sharp knife and cut 4 or 5 parallel cuts in the cheese. Twist the knife in the cut to open the slit, and insert slivers of garlic and short sprigs of rosemary.
Cut the baguette lengthwise along the side, open it like a submarine sandwich, and spread on the softened butter, mashed garlic, and chopped parsley on the inside. Close it and wrap it up in aluminum foil.
Cheese and bread both go in a 400°F oven for about 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is soft but not fully melted. A younger cheese will have a thinner crust and will leak less, whereas an older cheese will have a stronger taste but a thicker crust and will leak more. Your call.
Take both out of the oven, hold the unwrapped garlic bread with an oven mitt, and slice the baguette into 1/2” thick slices. Grind a generous amount of pepper on the cheese. Serve. You can let folks dip directly, or put out a wide bladed cheese knife or even a spoon.
If all goes right, almost the whole cheese will be gone by the time you get back to the kitchen for some extra bread. Baking this one fills the whole house with a yummy garlic, cheese, and rosemary aroma ... which is irresistible to the vultures.
The two of us tried this, and we ate the whole thing in about 5 minutes. Piggy piggy, but it’s just that good. Wash it down with some ginger ale or some crisp white wine.
Fancy cooks will want to nix making the garlic bread, which is a tiny bit of overkill anyway, and roast up a head of garlic first. Drizzle it with honey and olive oil before roasting for about 40 minutes. When done, cut a good number of slices in the top of the cheese in a criss-cross pattern, and squeeze the almost fully roasted garlic bulbs out onto the cheese and press them in with a knife blade, then pop in a few sprigs of rosemary here and there and get it in the oven. Butter up the bread and put it in to heat. With the nutty taste of the roast garlic, I’d serve this version with a comfortable red wine.
Horry clap, this is NOT something to eat if you’ve got a big date later on. You’re going to have garlic breath like you’ve never had before. So do it with other folks already there, so they can share the effect, and nobody will notice. Sure they won’t. Who cares? Have some more wine! Happy Christmas!
Vultures you say? Hope they were kosher like this one http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9734674/Vulture-spying-for-Israel-caught-in-Sudan.html
I think Lidl is a German owned supermarket. They do seem to offer a good range of bratwurst!